24 Shiite citizens were recently served a prison term by a Bahraini court which also revoked their nationality after finding them guilty of forming a “terrorist group.
The Shiite citizens were also accused of travelling to Iraq and Iran for “weapons and explosives training” and attempted murder of police officers.
Bahrain’s High Criminal Court sentenced 10 of the defendants to life in prison, 10 to a decade behind bars and the other four to jail terms ranging from three to five years.
Bahrain is a Sunni-ruled country with Shias in majority. Over the years the kingdom has stripped hundreds of its citizens of their nationality and jailed dozens of high-profile activists and religious clerics since protests demanding an elected government erupted in early 2011.
The Bahraini government has accused Shiite Iran of backing the protests and attempting to overthrow the government. Tehran denies involvement.
In another case a trial of seven Bahrainis accused of attacking an oil pipeline to Saudi Arabia in November is set for May 10. The blast by the accused cut off the pipeline linking Bahrain’s Bapco refinery with oil giant Aramco’s main pumping station in neighboring Saudi Arabia’s Dhahran province.
The Manama authorities had had arrested four men suspected of attacking the pipeline, accusing Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival Iran of training and arming two of them, which Tehran denied.
Bahrain earlier this year deported eight people to war-torn Iraq after revoking their citizenship and making them stateless.
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